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Example for Identification of Recipient

Description of Identification of a Recipient

​Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig
​Research Centre
Spenerbriefe Edition
​in the Francke Foundations
Franckeplatz 1 | Haus 24
06110 Halle

Tel: +49 345 55 23073 / 75

Example for the Identification of a Recipient

Possible Recipients of the Letter from 3 January, 1689

 Mindmap for Portraying the Possibilities of the Recipient of the Letter from 3. January, 1689


Mindmap for Portraying the Possibilities of the Recipient of the Letter from 3. January, 1689.



  • Same addressee as in "Letters from the Dresden Period", volume 1, letter Nr. 116 (because of "DEO DUCE")


General Indications:

  • Latin language
  • Line 1f: ²nudius tertius annus"
  • Line 6: "Do Duce" as motto
  • Line 20: ex militari vivendi genere
  • Line 25: Rex = Ludwig XIV.
  • Line 28: is in military service (Louis XIV.?) but really should leave it


Possibility: Christian II. of Pfalz-Birkenfeld

Reasons for:

  • Spener corresponds with him in the Latin language ALSO.
  • A close – almost paternal – relationship to addressee
  • Localized in Southwest Germany

Reasons against:

  • Spener had written to him in January, 1668, already 12 months before (definitive and not deduced!)
  • Spener wrote on 29. July, 1687, to the prince who had chosen "Deo duce" as his motto (in German, though, but on the same subject), which fits with "tertius annus".
  • Christian II. has just entered into military service under Louis XIV., while the addressee already is in service (already for a longer period?) and obviously thinks about leaving such service.


Possibility: Johann Karl of Birkenfeld-Gelnhausen

Reasons for:

  • Was likewise Spener’s pupil, so that a close relationship similar to that of his brother could exist.  

Reasons against:

  • Gelnhausen is not in Southwest Germany
  • No longer in military service since ca. 1674.


Possibility: Johann Reinhard III. of Hanau-Lichtenberg

Biographical Data:

  • Born 31. July, 1665 in Bischofsheim am Hohen Steg (=Rheinbischofsheim)
  • 1680 ruled over Hanau-Lichtenberg, but, because he still was underage, Christian II. of Pfalz-Birkenfeld at first ruled for him
  • 1686f visited Dresden with his brother during a grand tour
    "capital city" is Buchsweiler
  • 1688 takes over independent rule over Hanau-Lichtenberg after reaching maturity
  • He attempts to counter French repression with tax relief for his subjects.

Reasons for:

  • Area on the left bank of the Rhine
  • Commitment to his subjects
  • In "Letters from the Dresden Period", volume 3, Letter Nr. 116, Spener does not speak about a letter from which he could have known about the motto, but rather writes, "I recollect not having known..." --> personal encounter? Possible during visit to Dresden

Reasons against:

  • No military assignment from which he could have withdrawn.


Possibility: Leopold Ludwig of Pfalz-Veldenz-Lützelstein

Biographical Data:

  • 1. February,1625 - 29. September,1694

Reasons for:

  • County of Veldenz, which LL wanted to bequeath to his brother Charles XI of Sweden, is awarded in 1695 by Paris to Christian II. of Pfalz-Zweibrücken.
  • No previous contact to Spener discernible
  • His age speaks against him. Spener hardly ever writes in this way to one who is not a very close acquaintance, and not with a prince.


And so is an identified recipient in the Edition of the Letters of Philipp Jakob Spener designated.

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